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HARARE  - Exxaro Resources has kept to its plan to cut its exposure in Tronox, the US-based mineral sands group, saying yesterday that it had raised R6.5 billion from the sale of a 20% stake in the group.

Exxaro said it completed the sale of 22425000 shares in Tronox, the New York-listed company focused on the mining, production, and marketing of inorganic minerals and chemicals.

It said the sale was made through an underwritten public offering and included 2925000 shares purchased through the underwriters’ exercise of an option to purchase additional shares.

JPMorgan, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley acted as joint book-running managers and underwriters for the offering.

“Management will continue to assess market conditions going forward for further possible sell-downs in its remaining Tronox investment and shareholders will be advised accordingly,” the mining company said yesterday.

The disposal represented 15% of Exxaro’s market capitalisation. It formed part of Exxaro’s plan to monetise its stake in Tronox in phases announced in March.

The disposal reduces Exxaro’s ownership in Tronox to 28.7million shares from 51.2million shares and represents 24percent of Tronox’s total outstanding voting shares.

Percy Takunda, an analyst at Momentum Securities, yesterday commended Exxaro’s timing for sale of the Tronox shares.

“The Tronox share has gone up 140percent year-to-date and it looks an opportune time to exit some of the stakes,” said Takunda.

Tronox operates mines in Australia, South Africa, and the US. It has benefited from the strong demand and prices of titanium oxide (Ti02) prices.

Exxaro shares rose 1.14percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R138.56.

-BUSINESS REPORT